Chocolate Spice Muffins

Just a quick wee recipe as we approach the big day on the 25th! Whether Christmas is your favourite time of the year or you are completely opposed to it, we all get involved in it one way or another. Sometimes not voluntarily, but hey, I’m here to share recipes, not to debate characteristics of society. So! My brother made amazing muffins the other day, so I asked him the recipe and tampered with it a bit. These were the photos I took before they were gobbled up!
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Why put all the white chocolate on top, you say. Well, have you ever wondered why white chocolate tastes so good after it has been in the oven? Because; the white chocolate caramelises. I didn’t know this until I tried it myself, but putting white chocolate in a saucepan on the fire. The result was heaven, so it looks like I will have to post a tutorial for that sometime!
But I digress again. These muffins are gloriously simple to whip up and make up in taste what they lack in glamour. Don’t be afraid of the spices, please. They give a warmer taste to the occasionally harsh dark chocolate and add a gentle depth. Plus, they remind me of Christmas time, so it’s perfect! If you don’t have white chocolate or dark, use whatever you like, or omit the chocolate on top. Have a play.
These muffins weren’t exactly crumbly but instead they fell apart they were so moist and delicious. Don’t make the same mistake I did of baking them in specially shaped silicon molds! Stick to muffin pans and you shall be rewarded. They are just as good hot or cold and they last well; bonus!

Chocolate Spice Muffins
Ingredients:
100g butter, softened
2 eggs
300g flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
125g brown sugar
30g cocoa
220ml milk
120g dark chocolate, chopped
55g white chocolate, chopped

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
Mix together the butter, eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and cocoa until combined, then add the milk a bit at a time and mix well. Mix in the dark chocolate.
Spoon evenly into the muffin holes and sprinkle the white chocolate on top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool slightly in the tin before serving.
Makes 12.

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Thank you dear brother, for yet again making my life even more amazing.
Sami xx

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Ginger Kisses

It’s Monday, it’s the holidays and the weather’s bad; I think that calls for some baking. I popped these on my list of things to make a few days ago, when I was thinking about making Whoopie Pies. For those of you who have never tried a ginger kiss, they are traditionally a light, ginger and spiced flavoured sponge-ish kiss with a plain cream filling. They remind me of being very young, and I remember that for some reason the store bought versions had this odd taste to them….a bit like metal or something. Or maybe that’s just me!
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It’s been a while since I’ve had a packaged one… anyway, they are a fundamental item on the Kiwi baking repertoire and easy to make! I’m not actually sure how to class them though, are they more like cupcakes and small baked goods or cookies? Maybe both 🙂 AS I did not have a large stock of ground ginger, I used some grated fresh ginger too, but you could always just omit that for more ground ginger if you like.

Ginger Kisses

Ingredients:
120g flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch cloves
100g butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
2 tsp hot water mixed with 1/4 tsp baking soda

Filling:
25g butter
50g icing sugar

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Sift the dry ingredients together. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the fresh ginger and golden syrup. Mix to combine. Add the egg and the baking soda mix, blend and then mix in the dry ingredients. Line two baking trays with a greaseproof mat or baking paper. Pipe or dollop teaspoonful sized drops of batter about 5cm apart onto the trays and bake about 10 minutes until they spring back when lightly touched, and are nice and golden. Remove from the oven, cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If you don’t have enough trays, you can do this in batches.
To make the filling, soften the butter and beat with the sugar until light and fluffy. Spread a small amount onto the bottom on a kiss, then sandwich another similar sized one on top. Repeat. If you like copious or more generous amounts of fillings in your baking, you make want to increase the filling recipe by 50%, or add some lemon juice if you like!
Makes about 24.
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Sorry for the not very magazine worthy photoshoot, but they were ready to be devoured, and I won’t deny hungry mouths!
Have a good one 🙂

Belgium Biscuits

Ahh, some traditional New Zealand baking. You wouldn’t think it with that name, would you?
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I can’t believe that when I made my recipe book for a school project a few years ago, I didn’t include them; and I only just realised! You’ll find many different recipes for these pretty and delicious biscuits in books and on the web, and they are all similar in; being two cookies sandwiched together, being spiced and being iced with some sort of pink. The name comes from it’s inspiration from the Linzer Torte, as I am lead to believe, and the name changed. Either way, they are a Kiwi classic and not very time consuming. I didn’t have any coloured sugar or jelly crystals to decorate with, so I used some pink 100s and 1000s instead. Have a play 🙂

Belgium Biscuits
Cookies:
125g butter

1/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 cup self raising flour

2/3 cup normal flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tsp butter, melted

1 tbsp-ish hot water

To decorate: pink decorations such as jelly crystals, sprinkles etc
1/4 cup-ish (traditionally) raspberry jam

Instructions:
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the golden syrup. Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter (chances are you will not need t use your hands or remove the dough from electric beaters if you are using them). Chill for at least 30 minutes, until the dough is no longer sticky and is strong enough to roll out. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll until about 3mm think and cut into your desired shapes (I used a mini fluted tart tin, as I couldn’t find my cutter!). Place on a greased tray and bake 10 minutes until golden, or the cookie moves when you nudge it gently. Cool.
Make the icing by mixing together the icing sugar, butter and water until thick enough to spread. Place about a tsp or so of jam on the bottom of a cookie and sandwich another on top. Spread the icing on top of the cookie and decorate with the pink of your choice. Makes about 24.

ImageBonne journee!